Experts fear this is only the beginning
The first recorded death from tortuous use of the English language was recorded yesterday after Christine Monkhaus, a German-American dual national, succumbed to excessive exposure to a poorly constructed technical work on the re-skilling (consistently referred to as ‘re-skillage’) of unemployed steel workers.
Monkhaus, an expert in the subject and a native English speaker, was found slumped at her desk having spent three consecutive days editing the text. Police found a crumpled note in her hand which sources reveal was a naked and harrowing cry for help.
“It just read ‘god save me, the subjunctive use of the present tense, and the split infinitive’, which was a reference to the fourth paragraph on page 63, I think.” Said one colleague at the scene. “She was such a lovely girl, and we made her do this. I will never forgive myself”
While this is the first known fatality, concerns about illness resulting from the rising use of so-called “euro-english” have been flagged by a number of lobby groups. Cases of mental exhaustion, dehydration, brain haemorrhages, tumours, and excessive verbiage have been recorded around the globe in recent months. Brussels and Geneva, housing the EU and the UN respectively, currently top the statistics board.
While no cure has been found, medical experts advise holding headsets away from the ear, where possible, and to only allow conversations to last a limited amount of time. While teachers trade unions have advised increased language tuition, critics say this is a long term solution and an immediate policy response is necessary.
The issue was discussed for the first time by European Heads of State at the Summit in June. However, the debate stalled when several translators were taken ill having been forced to translate dodgy Slovakian-english back into Czech. The UK delegation was accused of high-handedness, mumbling and “using long words” by the Greeks, while the French publically declared that “anyone can use French, however they want. As long as they use it.”
One head of state was overheard saying, “I love Euro-english. You can use very many beautiful words that are richest and full of life, while not saying anything and being meaningless. This is the dream of every politician.”
While the debate – conducted mostly in Euro-english – rages on, it comes as little solace to the friends and family of Ms Monkhaus. In addition to her professional editing work, she had recently had the first volume of her children’s book series accepted for publication: Gerald the Gerund.
US President George Bush this evening issued a formal statement of condolence, adding “if only y’all could speak English as we do down here, there ain’t be no tradegies like this.”